Carolena Nericcio


Carolena Nericcio
photo by Kristine Adams

Carolena Nericcio is a name synonymous with Tribal Style as we know it in American subculture today.

An early fascination of permanent body adornment lead the 8-year old Carolena to request her Father, a collector himself, to buy a ring she could ‘wear always and not take off’.  This concept evolved into the study of folkloric textiles, a body full of tattoos and a collection of jewelry and textiles from around the world.

The discovery of  belly dance led to the creation of her own dance style, American Tribal Style Belly Dance.  It’s movements are inspired by folkloric dances of the Middle East and India.  Aesthetically ATS is based on the richness of textiles and jewelry from North Africa and India. ATS is a method of improvisational choreography, using a vocabulary of natural movements and cues allowing the dancers to communicate via gesture when dancing together. The effect is a vibrant thread drawing the audience into the tapestry.

Her troupe, FatChanceBellyDance, is a Bay Area phenomenon that has become known around the world. The majestic costuming, including full headdresses and layers of ethnic jewelry, celebrate folk art of the old world. The music, a carefully chosen collection of both traditional sounds and modern fusion adds the effect… Tribal Style looks “old” but it is actually “new.”

The worldwide popularity of ATS led Carolena to create a substantial series of DVDs bringing the instruction, performance and inspiration for the dance to an global community. Musical CDs were also created in collaboration with renown artists. Through ATS, audiences are exposed to the music, textiles and jewelry of culture of Nakarali.

Currently Carolena directs FatChanceBellyDance at their studio and resource center in San Francisco, CA.  She masterminds the business side of Nakarali with the same aptitude that lead to her immense success as a breakthrough dance enterprise.  Nakarali is a way to continue communicating the messages in her dance form, through a collection of wearable art that represents the tribal essence.